OCEAN CITY — The Ocean City Police Department’s newest K-9 team recently graduated from a six-week training program at Shallow Creek Kennels training facility in Sharpsville, Pa.
Pfc. Erika Specht and her K-9 partner “Smoke” are now certified by the North American Police Work Dog Association as a patrol and drug detection police K-9 team. The two join a group of five additional K-9 patrol teams, which are an integral part of the Ocean City Police Department.
Smoke, a 2-year-old Belgian Malinios, came to the OCPD from the Netherlands, where he received his initial training. In Pennsylvania, Smoke and Specht received additional training in patrol techniques, article and area searches and drug detection.
“The K-9 Unit is an integral part of the patrol division. The handlers and their K-9’s are some of the most highly trained officers in our department,” commented Chief Ross Buzzuro. “I have no doubt that Pfc. Specht and Smoke with make an excellent addition to the team.”
On patrol, Specht and Smoke will respond to calls for service, and are often asked to assist other officers in Ocean City and throughout Worcester County. In addition to their duties and responsibilities on the road, K-9 teams often participate in community events. Smoke has already appeared at several school demonstrations.